New Zealand Food Safety, a business unit of the Ministry for Primary Industries, has published the results of its recent Food Residues Survey Programme (FRSP).
The main objectives of the FRSP are:
To verify agrichemical use on plant-based foods available for sale in New Zealand follows Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and to ensure that food safety risks are managed.
Important outcomes from the programme are:
Giving the consumer confidence that the food available for sale in New Zealand is safe to eat.
The food distribution and sales sector can have confidence that the food they are selling is safe to eat.
The FRSP survey assists the regulators to see if MRL settings of crops are appropriate. This is a really important point which is often not well understood by industry. Past survey trends have helped to develop and aid strategies to assist growers with their MRL’s through the correct product application.
Challenges for the FRSP are:
One of the objectives of the programme, that is often misunderstood, is around information gathering to assist policy development.
Full traceability is a requirement of the programme. This requires effective labelling and full cooperation from both the mainstream distribution system and growers.
The survey has a rate of compliance at greater than 99.9% which is the same as the rate of compliance for the last few surveys. A total of 591 samples were collected and analysed for more than 500 agrichemicals over the 2017/18 and 2018/19 periods. The non-compliant results were from 37 out of 591 samples tested.
New Zealand Food Safety conducted dietary risk assessments for consumers of all ages, including children, to identify if there were any food safety risks associated with the non-compliant results.
The dietary risk assessments concluded that none of the survey samples exceeding the relevant MRLs, resulted in any food safety concerns to consumers of all ages.
Organophosphate and Carbamates
New Zealand Food Safety has focused on educating growers on the use of organophosphates. New Zealand Food Safety and Vegetables New Zealand co-branded a poster to reach their members and provide education support regarding the change in the use of organophosphates.
More information about the controls on use of organophosphate chemicals being phased out is available at the New Zealand Food Safety website at: https://www.mpi.govt.nz/dmsdocument/10253/send
United Fresh support for the FRSP
United Fresh supports this important programme and New Zealand Food Safety will be seeking feedback from industry regarding the next survey on the types of plant based foods to include.
We support New Zealand Food Safety providing more information to industry and receiving feedback on the programme.
The reports covering the 2017-2019 FRSP survey are on the MPI website at: